If by any chance you found an article over the internet or any of the social media platforms that say "Filipinos are experiencing food shortage", let me say that it's not entirely true. Although there is news that shows a group of Filipinos that are rallying in front of a city hall and are complaining about the lack of food, I beg to disagree.
Firstly, it's not that the government doesn't provide them assistance during this crisis but it's the fact that these small groups of people are not prepared in times like this. Let me break down my thoughts about it and state some known facts about this issue.
In the Philippines, a community lockdown or quarantine was first initiated in Metro Manila while the nearby cities followed a few days after that. In the first week of lockdown period, there were no strict regulations being implement by the government however on the 2nd week of lockdown there came regulations like:
- social distancing of 1 meter or 3 feet
- implementation of quarantine & travel pass
- color coding of vehicles
- minimum PPE requirement (no mask no entry)
While many of the government offices & Private Companies still operate using the "Skeletal Workforce System", there are quite a number of service oriented companies that put their operation on halt. This put many of their employees jobless for the entire period of the community lockdown. It may sound awful but most of these employees received financial assistance from their company and from the local government, so it's safe to assume that they are well taken care of.
What's questionable are the ones that are rallying to their local government and complaining about their struggle during this lockdown period. I can't really tell whether these small groups of people are legitimate of their demand or they simply make noise about their misfortune but one thing is for sure, they seem to be desperate enough to get out from their houses and rally. They don't even bother risking their lives by gathering in public places where they could potentially acquire a virus which could be more fatal than hunger.
It saddens me to see that there are people who seem to be in dire need of help and that the government is not capable enough to support them during this crisis. However, what really gave me the terrible feeling is the fact that we are not ready to fight against this kind of infectious disease. I'm not just talking about the crisis in the Philippines but the whole world. It's happening everywhere and many of us are defenceless about it.
We are not equipped with the cure against this virus, the government doesn't have a good system to implement their support to all citizens, and there are some of us who are not financially stable to even last a month of community quarantine.
Experts say that this pandemic will not be the last, in fact it's just part of a series of potential outbreaks that we will face in the future. Let's use this COVID-19 experience as our learning process for potential future outbreak.
Let me reiterate this famous quote: